The actual Milky Way will be the galaxy which contains the Earth. It is a barred spiral galaxy 100, 000-120, 000 light-years in diameter that contains 200-400 billion stars.

Our own Milky Way is bound for a head-on collision with the similar-sized Andromeda galaxy, researchers declared today (May 31, 2012). As time passes, the massive galactic smashup will create an entirely new cross galaxy, one particular likely bearing a elliptical shape instead of the Milky Way's hallmark spiral-armed storage.

"We do know for sure of some other galaxies in the local universe around us which are along the way regarding colliding and combining, " Roeland van der Marel, from the Space Telescope Science Institute within Baltimore, informed reporters nowadays. "However, the things that make the long run merger of the Andromeda universe as well as the Milky Technique so special is that it can happen to us all. "
Astronomers have got long known how the Milky Way along with Andromeda, which is referred to as M31, are barrelling toward each other at a speed of about 300, 000 mph (400, 000 kph). They have also lengthy suspected that this a couple of galaxies may throw into each other vast amounts of years the next day. [Milky Technique Slams Directly into Andromeda (Artist Images)]

Nonetheless such conversations for the future galactic impact have always stayed somewhat assuming, because nobody had was able to gauge Andromeda's sideways motions -- something of these galaxy's way through space.

Nevertheless that's will no longer the truth.

Van der Marel and his colleagues applied NASA's Hubble space telescope to repeatedly observe select parts of Andromeda more than a seven-year period. These were in a position to measure the particular galaxy's sideways (or tangential) action, and so they found that will Andromeda and the Milky Way are indeed bound for a one on one struck.

"The Andromeda universe is heading straight in our way, " Van der Marel mentioned. "The galaxies can collide, and they're going to blend together in order to create one brand new galaxy. " He and his colleagues likewise created a online video simulation of the Milky Way crash into Andromeda.

That merger, van der Marel added, begins inside 4 billion years and will probably be complete can be 6 million years from at this point.

Another cosmic crash
This sort of dramatic celebration has never occurred in the long history of our Milky Way, which very likely began taking shape about 13. 5 billion in years past.

"The Milky Way has had, probably, many of00 smaller than average small mergers, inch said Rosemary Wyse involving Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, who was simply not attributed with the newest review. "But this kind of major merger will be unrivaled. inches
Typically the merger poses simply no real danger involving destroying Earth or perhaps our solar system, scientists said. The actual stretches of empty space separating the stars inside the two galaxies will great, making just about any collisions or serious perturbations improbable.

Nonetheless our solar-system will more than likely get booted in order to another position in the new galaxy, which some astronomers have called the "Milkomeda universe. " Simulations show that most of us probably occupy an area much a greater distance from the galactic core than we do today, researchers stated.

A new night sky
And the collision can change our night sky significantly. If any humans remain around three or more. 75 billion years from now, they'll notice Andromeda fill their field of view because it sidles upwards next to our personal Milky Way. For the next few billion years after that, stargazers will be spellbound with the combination, that can trigger extreme bouts of legend creation.

Eventually, by about 7 billion years from now, the vibrant core on the exersice Milkomeda galaxy will certainly dominate the night sky, researchers stated. (The odds of viewing this sight, a minimum of from Earth, are pretty slim, since the sun is usually predicted to be able to bloat into a huge reddish giant five to six billion years from now. )

In its 22-year history, Hubble possesses revolutionized the way humanity views the cosmos. The new finding is a part of that method, researchers said.

"What's actually exciting regarding the current proportions is, not necessarily about historical astronomy; it's not about searching back in time, understanding the expansion of the universe, " mentioned John Grunsfeld, associate administrator regarding NASA's Science Mission Directorate and a former astronaut who flew on three space shuttle missions that fixed Hubble.

"It's anticipating in time, which is another very human story, " Grunsfeld added. "We like to know about our past -- where did we come from? All of us like to know where we're going. "